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A clarification on pointing please...

(10 Posts)
RoxanneMur Sat 13-Sep-08 01:25:06

Good evening,

I have a thread on the behaviour development board regarding my 18 month old son. I asked a question within my very long post here

I was hoping to get the answer regarding pointing as my son was a bit late with it (16 1/2 months) but now at 18 months old is using it appropriately for all three types of pointing: 1) for needs 2) for interest and 3)follows a point.

I know JimJams and others have said that pointing can be a red herring. I guess what I want to know is can they use all three types of pointing appropriately and still be autistic. There are still a few other things as you can see from the link above that concern me and I was wondering if they are all normal toddler behaviour versus potentially still being on the spectrum.

Thanks so much for all of your knowledge and wisdom. It is invaluable to people like myself.


jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 13-Sep-08 07:09:17

Copied response from previous thread:

It's not pointing at 18 months that is a red flag for autism. It doesn't matter at what age your child points before 18 months. And if they're not pointing at 18 months the usual thing would be to give them another month and review, then refer on for further assessment.

Eye contact is a total red herring. DS1 has very good eye contact.

Obviously if you're concerned then keep in contact with HCP's but I can't see anything in your list that would worry me.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 13-Sep-08 07:17:16

Copied as well:

Also a child who points later than 18 months can be perfectly OK because its not diagnostic. If your child isn't pointing at 18 months it's just a sign that their communicative development is a little delayed - one reason might be slower development- hence the reason for waiting another month or just keeping a bit of an eye for a while, another reason would be a communication disorder.

No link has been found between communication disorders and pointing earlier than 18 months.

When I say eye contact is a total red herring I should clarify a bit. It's not as important as people with limited experience of autism tend to believe (along with affection, cuddling etc)

RoxanneMur Sat 13-Sep-08 07:54:27

Thank you jimjamshaslefttheyurt. I must have misunderstood previously as I was thinking that many others were under the impression that as soon as their child points they are "off the hook" and I knew that wasn't the case from reading your other posts. So then that left me wondering if those children that did point and were later diagnosed used the pointing appropriately? That is where I am confused.

And are you saying that eye contact can still be a bit vague in children and that is okay?

Thanks again for your time.

LeonieD Sat 13-Sep-08 09:32:20

Message withdrawn

TotalChaos Sat 13-Sep-08 09:58:01

eye contact can change too - DS (language delay, probably not ASD) eye contact has improved dramatically as his language has improved.

cyberseraphim Sat 13-Sep-08 11:06:39

The CHAT test was devised to screen out children who were not likely to be dxd as autistic. It was carried out on the younger siblings of autistic children. Of those who passed, none were later dxd ASD, whereas of those who failed the test in more than one area, a large percentage, but not all were later dxd ASD. The test is not intended to diagnose autism but to help researchers identify early markers.They chose siblings of autistic children assuming that they would have a higher chance of finding autistic children pre diagnosis. Eye contact in ASD children will usually have some impairments (to a greater or lesser degree) when compared to that of an ASD child but few autistic children are wholly avoidant of eye contact. The difficulty may lie more in the way they use eye contact. DS1 (ASD) has a simple understanding that eye contact is used for attention but does not understand all the nuances that a child with a more sophisticated understanding might have.

cyberseraphim Sat 13-Sep-08 11:24:13

second ASD in above - should be non ASD of course.

bullet123 Sat 13-Sep-08 11:29:31

Ds1 has moderate eye contact and can be good on occassions. He loves cuddles and hugs and playing peekaboo and round and round the garden still. I thought that liking peekaboo meant he was off the spectrum in my ignorance, until the mum of a lass who is older and is severely autistic told me her dd loves playing it.

kt14 Sat 13-Sep-08 14:03:48

DS1's (HFA/lang disorder) eye contact went from very patchy to very good once we removed aspartame from his diet. He does point on request, to request things and occasionally for interest, but compared with DS2, who now points constantly (and I mean sometimes several times a minute!) to share interest at 12 months old, I can see a huge difference between them in the way they communicate and interact with me. Both are very smiley, affectionate boys and love chasing and peekaboo games.

Their language development has been very different so far, I only need say a word a couple of times for DS2 to absorb it, and often repeat it, DS1 didn't say basic words such as cat and dog until past 2.

I do think your gut feel is very important. I just knew DS1 was slightly different very early on, even though the symptoms were and still are fairly subtle and even now he doesn't really do anything which is typically "autistic" and is a very laid back and flexible child.

It's only from reading of HFA children on here that I can really recognise some similarities in DS1. These include lack of understanding in abstract areas, unusual language development - use of learnt phrases rather than spontaneous sentences (although this is improving), recently occasional ear holding, limited interest in playing properly with other children, happy to be around them and chase etc, but a lack of proper co-operative play.

My advice to the OP is to keep observing but try not to worry, the spectrum is massive, and once you're aware of the vast array of symptoms, it's easy to see things in any child if you look hard enough - if there does turn out to be a problem and my instincts are that there won't be, you're on to it at such a young age that your ds will get every available help.

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